View Full Version : Pre-purchase vet checks

09-10-12, 09:45 AM
Just need some advice on this, in the past when I have bought a horse (hasnt been for many years) I have always just got the pre-purchase exam and never worried about things like xrays, scopes, drug tests etc

In doing the ring around this time I have to say i am surprised about how much the price for the exam is now ($450)

I guess my question is, is it now the thing to xray and scope a horse prior to purchase or will the exam still tell me all i need to know?

Thanks :)

09-10-12, 11:58 AM
I think it depends on a lot of things. How much are you spending on the horse? How old is the horse? What is it's history? What do you want to do with it?

I think the decision to spend money on x-rays and scopes etc is one to be made yourself after considering the above and possibly discussing with the vet. It's basically an exercise in risk analysis - the more you have done, the less risk that you are buying a problem, but having said that you can do all the tests available, spend 1000's, but you can never fully eliminate all problems. What is the level of risk you are willing to accept?

I've had two pre-purchase exams done on my horses by purchasers over the last 9 months and neither had x-rays or scopes (horses weren't the cheapest either, though not in the re-mortgaging category either ;)). Having said that, both had very good flexion tests, which may be a factor in deciding on x-rays.

The basic check in my experience cost $250 - $300 (I think) but then you'd have to factor in things like travel costs for the vet and the cost of x-rays etc.

09-10-12, 12:11 PM
Why not be guided by the outcome of the standard pre-purchase exam? If the horse checks out fine with a thorough clinical examination it may not be necessary to go to the expense of further tests. Obviously if the horse is expensive or it's destined for a high performance career you may want to x-ray & scope regardless. The whole x-ray thing can get very expensive if done properly (as in all the angles on every joint on every leg) - where do you stop?

09-10-12, 01:42 PM
Have a trusted vet do the exam and be guided by them.

I recently had one done and everything looked fine in pre-purchase so we didnt do xrays.

If everything looks fine and you still xray, what do you xray and where do you stop? At about $200 for 4 plates, keeping in mind that 1 plate does say the knee from front on, do you just do one plate per joint, whats the point then?

I paid $350 extra to have my trusted vet travel, plus I have the horse insured. It really depends what you are comfortable with.

I dont have horses under 5k vet checked at all, has worked well for me so far. Its just personal opinion.

09-10-12, 06:00 PM
The amount you spend and the options you take for PPC's are relevant to the horse, its price and the intended purpose.

A good vet only needs to know the purpose and he should be able to adivse you on the bare essentials and then the options from there on which are specific to the use

It is all dependant on what your ambitions are and what your expectations of the horse are, and how much money you might be wasting if the horse is not as genuine as you believe it to be

09-10-12, 06:25 PM
I X-ray given it is soooooo cheap now with digital!!!

I personally xray when spending over $5K

That said, I've only xrayed lower joints and had a big scare with my horse when he had an issue and it was potentially stifle - I was thinking I would kick myself coz I stopped at hocks in his prepurchase. I've used the prepurchase xrays to help with future issues as they give you a great reference point.

09-10-12, 11:25 PM
Thanks everyone for your opinions and experiences
I have spoken to my local vet that I trust very much and like a few of you have said we are going to start with the pre-purchase exam and if she thinks xrays are required then we will go from there

Fingers crossed it all goes well! :)

10-10-12, 07:43 AM
I did that very thing Subby when buying Henry. Started with the standard pre-purchase examination with the understanding that if anything that raised questions was identified then I would x-ray the identified spot. Nothing was discovered untoward so no x-rays were done.
All has been well since the exam was done nearly 12 months ago.

There are never any guarrantees when buying a horse. All that you can do is be sensible and then cross your fingers.